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HC to hear PIL against Virbhadra Singh after perusing CBI`s report

PTI | Last Updated: Wednesday, March 12, 2014 - 19:43

New Delhi: The Delhi High Court on Wednesday said it would peruse CBI`s status report before hearing a plea for a court-monitored probe into allegations of corruption and bribery against Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh.

"We will examine the status report (filed in sealed cover) first. Renotify it on April 2," a bench of acting Chief Justice B D Ahmed and Justice Siddharth Mridul said.
Prashant Bhushan, appearing for NGO Common Cause, said "we have made representation to CBI and the CVC and instead of registering an FIR, CBI has lodged a PE (preliminary enquiry). This is an open-and-shut case of corruption."

Earlier, the NGO had filed an interim application in the pending PIL seeking a direction to CBI to probe allegations of corruption and bribery against Singh.

The plea had sought a court-monitored CBI inquiry into allegations of money laundering, amassing disproportionate assets and criminal misconduct against Singh during his tenure as Union Steel Minister. Singh has refuted the allegations.

It had said the state government had allotted a hydel power project to a firm on June 14, 2002.

"The said company defaulted in the execution of the project and the state government granted several extensions to the company. After Singh became the Chief Minister, his government granted it a further extension of 10 months. The decision was made on extraneous considerations," it said.
On November 27 last year, the high court had asked CBI to file a status report on the action taken by it regarding the corruption allegations against Singh raised in the PIL after the agency said it was conducting an inquiry into the matter.

The PIL, filed against the Centre, CVC, CBI, Singh and Directorate General of Income Tax, has alleged he made a large amount of money through dubious sources and showed it as agricultural income to gain exemption from income tax and despite complaints to the Centre, CBI and CVC, no action has been taken so far, which shows malafide on their part.

First Published: Wednesday, March 12, 2014 - 19:43
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